Thursday, September 5, 2013
The Returned by Jason Mott
Published by Harlequin ISBN978-0-7783-1533-9
Hardcover, $24.95, 352 pages
Every year at the Book Expo of America there is one book there is everywhere and people are buzzing about it. This year, it was Jason Mott's The Returned, which had already been optioned as a TV series by ABC well before the book was even published. (See more info here on the TV show, now called Resurrection.)
The premise is intriguing- what happens when dead people start turning up alive, looking exactly as they did at their death? Agent Martin Bellamy of the International Bureau of the Returned shows up on the doorstep of Lucille and Harold Hargraves, an elderly couple who lost their son Jacob fifty years ago on his eighth birthday when he drowned in a local river.
With him is a young boy who looks exactly like Jacob. He was found wandering in China and Agent Bellamy was bringing him home. Lucille, who thought that these 'Returned' were the work of the devil, changed her mind the minute she saw her beloved son in front of her. She was willing to believe it was Jacob because she missed him so much.
Harold was more skeptical; he didn't know what to make of this boy in front of him, but he didn't believe it was his son. Agent Bellamy asked them if they wanted to keep Jacob, and Lucille prevailed.
More and more Returned kept turning up, and people became frightened and angry. Protests erupted all over the world, some people believing it was some kind of government conspiracy (what kind of conspiracy, they could not say).
As the number of Returned began to swell out of control, the President of the United States ordered them confined to their homes, but soon they begin to confine them in government buildings in specific cities. Harold and Jacob were out one day, and they were caught by the police and confined to the neighborhood school, which now housed hundreds of Returned.
Harold refused to leave Jacob, and Lucille brought them clean clothes and homemade food, visiting every day. But soon the military took over the camps, and visitors were no longer permitted. The situation deteriorated, and people were fighting for limited resources and a place to sleep.
Fans of the TV series Lost will enjoy this fast-paced, thought-provoking debut novel. Mott's theme of science versus faith will resonate with them. There is an interesting scene where the local reverend is watching a TV show in which a scientist is debating with a minister on who exactly these Returned are, and a man in the audience told them they were both useless as they had no definitive answers. In today's uncertain world, there are parallels to be made here.
The Returned is the kind of book that you will read in one sitting, but keep pondering its themes long after you finish. The plot draws you into this unfamiliar world, and you will identify with the characters, particularly Lucille and Harold. There are a few twists and turns and some exciting action along the way, and I think this book will appeal to so many different types of readers that it has the ability to become a real blockbuster.
rating 4 of 5
Thanks to TLC Tours for including me on Jason Mott's tour. The rest of the tour stops are here:
Monday, August 26th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Tuesday, August 27th: Rinn Reads
Tuesday, August 27th: River City Reading
Wednesday, August 28th: Bookalicious Mama
Wednesday, August 28th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, August 29th: Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, August 30th: Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Monday, September 2nd: Col Reads
Tuesday, September 3rd: Man of La Book
Wednesday, September 4th: Books Speak Volumes
Thursday, September 5th: BookChickDi
Friday, September 6th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, September 9th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, September 10th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Wednesday, September 11th: Simply Stacie
Thursday, September 12th: A Bookworm’s World
Friday, September 13th: The Book Wheel
Monday, September 16th: Peppermint Ph.D.
Tuesday, September 17th: Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, September 17th: Melissa Firman
Wednesday, September 18th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, September 19th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, September 20th: Luxury Reading
Friday, September 20th: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, September 23rd: Happy. Pretty. Sweet.
Tuesday, September 24th: The Best Books Ever
Wednesday, September 25th: Silver’s Reviews
Thursday, September 26th: Between the Covers
Friday, September 27th: Literally Jen
Monday, September 30th: Julz Reads
Tuesday, October 1st: Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, October 2nd: Book Addict Katie
Thursday, October 3rd: Broken Teepee
Friday, October 4th: A Novel Review
Monday, October 7th: Guiltless Reading
Tuesday, October 8th: Life in the Thumb
Wednesday, October 9th: Laura’s Reviews
Jason Mott's website is here.